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aidan o driscoll

AUDIO INTERFACE THREAD .. recommendations .. ( My EVO4 Arrived )

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Craig, The M Audio is not important and I was amazed it worked great with the one computer. I wasn't expecting it to work at all.  I got it for free from a old friend who was tossing it out.

On the support web site they warn you that it might not work.  but I was impressed they showed support up to that point ( W8) 

Funny thing about the Fast Track pro, it was my very first USB interface way back in I guess about 2006. Back then it had real iffy drivers and would cut out on me for no reason. It did this one night while I was doing sound for a dance show. Very embarrassing.. I got mad and bought the Tascam us1641 which  was dependable under windows XP but not W7 when I moved on.  Eventually both companies got their drivers working smoothly.  I was real surprised when Tascam updated the driver for the us1641 in 2014 and then again in 2017. To bad they never updated the drivers for the UH 7000. 

Edited by John Vere

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys ONE AND ALL.

The points are all very good and what I was hoping for. A good wide debate on this issue and focused on Cakewalk which is what we use.

I take the point that the DAW should not matter, but we are at the Cakewalk forums :D

About windows 10 & hardware, yip, my day job is my own small IT company for 20 years. I understand. 

To be truthful i have never had any issues with my systems specs because i tend to buy parts for a desktop upgrade ( have same actual box since the 90s, a tower ). Where laptops are concerned, I study, read reviews and really consider. I have a 17" Dell laptop thats 7, 8 years old - core i5, 16gb ram, Nvidia 2gb card, Hybrid 2GB drive - still handles well for music TBH .. I use a nifty ALESIS Core 1 with that which does the trick BUT that uses ASIO4ALL which I found best ( doesnt have own asio drivers )

368093.jpgBAck-19.jpg

My desktop is a Core i3, 16GB Ram, Nvidia 2GB card and sata drives. On that is the M-Audio Profire 610 ( attached through firewire card ). Again works fine, I have to say a lovely I/F with all the ports required. Probably one of the best M-Audio products? 

NzA2ZWUwY2VkMTI2NmRlYjhkNzVkOGFiMDY2OTJi

Even with all that I am always on the look out for an audio I/F that is USB and that I can swap between my two systems which does support ASIO via its drivers rather than relying on ASIO4ALL. I have been looking at the newer M-AUDIO I/Fs .. my experience with the profire makes me partial :D

14640396_800.jpg  MAUDIO+AIR+192X6-2.JPG

 

 

Edited by aidan o driscoll

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3 hours ago, aidan o driscoll said:

Thanks guys ONE AND ALL.

The points are all very good and what I was hoping for. A good wide debate on this issue and focused on Cakewalk which is what we use.

I take the point that the DAW should not matter, but we are at the Cakewalk forums :D

About windows 10 & hardware, yip, my day job is my own small IT company for 20 years. I understand. 

To be truthful i have never had any issues with my systems specs because i tend to buy parts for a desktop upgrade ( have same actual box since the 90s, a tower ). Where laptops are concerned, I study, read reviews and really consider. I have a 17" Dell laptop thats 7, 8 years old - core i5, 16gb ram, Nvidia 2gb card, Hybrid 2GB drive - still handles well for music TBH .. I use a nifty ALESIS Core 1 with that which does the trick BUT that uses ASIO4ALL which I found best ( doesnt have own asio drivers )

368093.jpgBAck-19.jpg

My desktop is a Core i3, 16GB Ram, Nvidia 2GB card and sata drives. On that is the M-Audio Profire 610 ( attached through firewire card ). Again works fine, I have to say a lovely I/F with all the ports required. Probably one of the best M-Audio products? 

NzA2ZWUwY2VkMTI2NmRlYjhkNzVkOGFiMDY2OTJi

Even with all that I am always on the look out for an audio I/F that is USB and that I can swap between my two systems which does support ASIO via its drivers rather than relying on ASIO4ALL. I have been looking at the newer M-AUDIO I/Fs .. my experience with the profire makes me partial :D

14640396_800.jpg  MAUDIO+AIR+192X6-2.JPG

 

 

I have several audio interfaces,  including a Presunus AudioBox 1818 VSL, with 8 preamp, an 8-port expansion for that, and a Yamaha/Steinberg UR-22 with two preamps, and those connect with USB 2.0.  My 3rd is a UAD Arrow, which is a Thunderbolt 3 interface, and I use that for my laptop. 

All 3 work well, but unless I am tracking real drums,  I use the UR-22 for the desktop, because it is much smaller than the Presonus, and I don't normally need more than the two XLR/mic inputs.

I would suggest you try using a Driver Mode of Wasapi Shared, until you end up with an interface that uses ASIO drivers.  Microsoft really tweaked up their audio processing in the Wasapi driver, and it may well perform better, with lower latency, than the ASIO4ALL has, and likely more stable.  ASIO4ALL is just a wrapper, for I believe the older WDM driver, and WASAPI should perform better than it. 

I normally set ASIO Buffer Size, with the UR-22, or the AudioBox, to 128 for tracking/recording, and to either 1024 or 2048 for mixing/mastering.  I could run at 64 samples, but then it can sometimes be a tad glitchy, so at 128 there is no audible lag, and it just breezes through tracking.  My UAD Arrow can go WAY lower, down to 32 or 16, but I normally keep it at 32 samples for tracking, and 2048 for mixing/mastering. 

Most interfaces in the $150 range, and up, will come with ASIO drivers, and perform well, while also being stable.

Bob Bone 

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For the older CW versions Sonar I used Roland/Edirol interfaces and they were solid performers.

Nowadays I use M-Audio.
For recording I use the M-Track 2x2M.
For pure mixing & monitoring, when no recording is required, I use the M-Audio SuperDAC II.
I also have the M-Audio MicroDAC 24/192 as it's nice & portable.

All have dedicated ASIO drivers and are rock solid with CW, and various other DAWs such as Ableton or ProTools.

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Anybody encounter these guys from ROLAND. look interesting via reviews etc. The RUBIX22 and the RUBIX44, not much in the difference price wise between the two ( about €50 ). 

https://www.roland.com/en-ch/products/rubix22/

https://www.roland.com/en-ch/products/rubix44/

The 44 is here at thomann for €205, the 22 is €150
https://www.thomann.de/ie/roland_rubix44.htm

 

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If you care about latency (and in case you play guitar with software processing you probably do), you do not use specially audio optimized computer (and from your post you do not) , you do not need many channels and have the money, take RME. It is less problematic and more forgiving in mentioned conditions. As a bonus, you get full flexibility in routing (use in parallel with Windows audio, Skype, other DAWs, routing/mixing one into another when required). Note that Babyface Pro is just a pre-amp when stand-alone, only top models can work as mixers in that mode.

I still have M-Audio Audiophile as my "windows sound" interface and Phonic + small usb mixer to keep all peaces of my small home audio room permanently connected (works with and without computer) in addition to M-Audio 410 and Roland VS-20 which just collect dust.

But if I could go back in time, there had to be RME UFX instead.  Unfortunately, I have understood that after I have bought Babyface Pro only. Nothing wrong with all other interface I have, they all work. And build-in Realtek also works (except for inputs). But with all other interfaces I hit some limits/inconvenience. With RME I do not.

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I have a hunch that the BandLab Link Digital interfaces are probably pretty compatible, and should you happen to encounter any issues whatsoever, you'd find the support people to be motivated to help resolve them.

It's funny how insulated we of this forum are from the rest of what BandLab does. Did anyone else know or remember that BandLab makes/markets interfaces? I vaguely remembered that they had a couple of iRig types in development a while back, but look what they're shipping now and....doesn't it seem a little odd that a potential market for audio interfaces such as Cakewalk users hasn't been pitched to more aggressively?

Not that I'm complaining, I don't mind a lack of hucksterism. It does seem like something of a missed opportunity here, and they look like nice enough little interfaces, although if the rate is fixed at or tops out at 48K as the ad copy implies I would pass.

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19 hours ago, azslow3 said:

If you care about latency (and in case you play guitar with software processing you probably do), you do not use specially audio optimized computer (and from your post you do not) , you do not need many channels and have the money, take RME. It is less problematic and more forgiving in mentioned conditions. As a bonus, you get full flexibility in routing (use in parallel with Windows audio, Skype, other DAWs, routing/mixing one into another when required). Note that Babyface Pro is just a pre-amp when stand-alone, only top models can work as mixers in that mode.

I still have M-Audio Audiophile as my "windows sound" interface and Phonic + small usb mixer to keep all peaces of my small home audio room permanently connected (works with and without computer) in addition to M-Audio 410 and Roland VS-20 which just collect dust.

But if I could go back in time, there had to be RME UFX instead.  Unfortunately, I have understood that after I have bought Babyface Pro only. Nothing wrong with all other interface I have, they all work. And build-in Realtek also works (except for inputs). But with all other interfaces I hit some limits/inconvenience. With RME I do not.

As much as I would LOVE an RME .. Im afraid the price points in EURO are way out of my reach at the moment especially with this pandemic going on and work at a premium ( self employed, own biz )

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4 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I have a hunch that the BandLab Link Digital interfaces are probably pretty compatible, and should you happen to encounter any issues whatsoever, you'd find the support people to be motivated to help resolve them.

It's funny how insulated we of this forum are from the rest of what BandLab does. Did anyone else know or remember that BandLab makes/markets interfaces? I vaguely remembered that they had a couple of iRig types in development a while back, but look what they're shipping now and....doesn't it seem a little odd that a potential market for audio interfaces such as Cakewalk users hasn't been pitched to more aggressively?

Not that I'm complaining, I don't mind a lack of hucksterism. It does seem like something of a missed opportunity here, and they look like nice enough little interfaces, although if the rate is fixed at or tops out at 48K as the ad copy implies I would pass.

I looked at them and got a feeling in my gut about them vs other I/Fs, but then thats just me.

As you said, a pitch at us CW users with special pricing :D .. might be a consideration BUT probably might need to ramp up the specs? Even if price goes up

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1 minute ago, aidan o driscoll said:

a pitch at us CW users with special pricing :D .. might be a consideration BUT probably might need to ramp up the specs? Even if price goes up

The "Cakewalk Edition" could be the one with the driver that enables the 44-196 that the chip in those things is surely capable of.

GPU companies have been doing this for years, sell what's basically the same hardware with a different driver as a "workstation" graphics card for 3X the price.

But far be it from me, BandLab seem determined not to market to me. Even their new "Albums" feature, which is huge, potentially a game-changer, I only heard about from someone on the Deals sub-forum. For all the initial paranoia about what the company was going to do with people's information and all that, I only wish there were a BandLab mailing list I could subscribe to to be informed about what they're doing.

Instead, it could have been my friend telling me "hey, Erik, that BandLab company that you told me about, I heard they're taking on Bandcamp with a no-fees direct music download site?" and that would have been the first I would have heard about it.

This lovely forum here, no place for BandLab company announcements that might be of interest to us?

(sorry, aidan, for off-topic blather, back to your quest)

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44 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

The "Cakewalk Edition" could be the one with the driver that enables the 44-196 that the chip in those things is surely capable of.

GPU companies have been doing this for years, sell what's basically the same hardware with a different driver as a "workstation" graphics card for 3X the price.

But far be it from me, BandLab seem determined not to market to me. Even their new "Albums" feature, which is huge, potentially a game-changer, I only heard about from someone on the Deals sub-forum. For all the initial paranoia about what the company was going to do with people's information and all that, I only wish there were a BandLab mailing list I could subscribe to to be informed about what they're doing.

Instead, it could have been my friend telling me "hey, Erik, that BandLab company that you told me about, I heard they're taking on Bandcamp with a no-fees direct music download site?" and that would have been the first I would have heard about it.

This lovely forum here, no place for BandLab company announcements that might be of interest to us?

(sorry, aidan, for off-topic blather, back to your quest)

Re bold, no prob, still on topic via Bandlab I/Fs :D

Agree with all you say. But maybe when bandland PRO it up a bit more then they might be inclined to come to us so to speak? I imagine that the vast majority still of CW users would be more on the Pro end based on years, decades of usage?

There are a few interesting FACEBOOK GROUPS - Cakewalk By Bandlab, Cakewalk by Bandlab talk, Cakewalk/Sonar user group - pretty heavily subscribed with a mix of "Pro" and newbie contributors.

With respect to that ALBUMS Feature .. at the moment its for individual users/artists. No option yet for BAND releases. For this at the moment I use BANDCAMP.

So I  imagine Bandlab are straddling a line tween Amateur and PRO, so will be interesting to see where they go with this. At the moment they are similar to DAZ3D in the 3D app / assets world. They basically have relatively simple 3D apps and then you buy pre built assets to add to your scene. They make most of there cash from ASSETS and give the apps away for free. Reallusion are similar in the 3D world ( and 3D )

 

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2 hours ago, aidan o driscoll said:

As much as I would LOVE an RME .. Im afraid the price points in EURO are way out of my reach at the moment especially with this pandemic going on and work at a premium ( self employed, own biz )

Then I just recommend to carefully check RTL under realistic settings for the interface you consider. Profire 610 was not bad in that domain, in the lower price segment you can easily experience "downgrade" in case you are not careful. It is easy to find posts about RTL of any interface, but check the results are really from "RTL Utility" and for the settings you have. On the same computer your buffer size will be the same as you use for 610, so do not think that "64 samples at 192kHz" is going to magically work since such setting is allowed in case you could get stable sound on 128/44.1kHz only.

Not sure 610 has that, my M-Audio allows ASIO in parallel with windows sounds. Many (most) other interfaces do not, check if that feature is important for you (not so easy to find for concrete interface).

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Posted (edited)

Hi Guys,

For anyone interested this guy does ( I think ) some really good matter of fact and technical reviews of many Audio I/Fs. Check out his Youtube Channel and then VIDEOS for all his reviews on various I/Fs etc - https://www.youtube.com/c/JulianKrause/videos :

I am actually looking at the Komplete Audio 1 or 2.

Others on short list are:

- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen

- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

- Presonus AudioBox USB 96

- Presonus Studio 24c

This guy reviews them all, verdicts at end of reviews.

I had a real think about what I need and TBH even the 1 x XLR and 1 x full jack on the Komplete Audio 1 would be OK with me because to be honest my main input from the real world into my DAW is guitar. At some point and at most I would need the XLR for a vocalist I work with using my AKG C 300B.

The Komplete Audio 1 has RCA out puts at the back vs full jack. Again this is OK for me as i have my current M-Audio profire 610 rigged to my Sony Amp where I have to use full jacks converted to RCA anyway.

About the presonus audiobox unit .. it seems to be well aging at this stage, it appears the better bet is the Studio 24 in that range which is newer. An advantage is they have MIDI ports BUT I am not using  them these days. Only thing maybe at some point is I might dust off my old roland guitar synth / pickup unit BUT thats not a priority.

Another reason now for demoting my M-Audio firewire is because I have a newer Core i5 system procured recently which is a mini tower that uses low profile cards, so no go for firewire card unless I buy a decent one which on average are all costing about €56+ .. better put that cash into a new I/F tbh. Having the I/F as USB also allows me to move it around from my new Desktop to my laptop and occasionally for travelling with .. the Komplete is small and light.

So there ye go. And just in case .. has anyone tried the Komplete Audio 1 or 2? Thoughts?

Edited by aidan o driscoll

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Note the table in the video, at 8:42. Check what you have now with 610 (note the table is for 48kHz).

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On 6/24/2020 at 9:51 PM, aidan o driscoll said:

Thanks @John Bradley .. while you were writing this I added the following to my OP:

MAYBE a better Q is what Audio I/Fs NOT to get for cakewalk?  From perspective of driver issues and the like

Hmm.

I've just bought a 3rd Gen Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (brand new)

Plugged it in, it downloaded the latest driver directly from the Focusrite website and I was up and running in minutes

Good latency figures, good pre-amps, loads of IO, including Midi IO

Works perfectly for my needs

 

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I have been using an RME Fireface FireWire for many year but it was really beginning to struggle - due to lockdown here in Cape Town I didn't have much choice for a replacement, but as I wanted to go USB 3, I went Zoom UAC8

The pre amps are not as good as the RME without doubt, but as I always use some kind of pre amp or mixer, this didn't really matter so much to me. The latency is very good indeed and has made a big difference to my set up - a very good price as well.

So far operation has been solid as a rock and I am very happy so far

 

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For whatever the worth, I used to own a Native Instruments audio interface - 20 years ago, and used it for a good 10 years, then gave it to a friend of mine, and this thing is still running strong - built like a tank, and rock solid performance, even though it does not go to 192 K sample rate (I will likely never want to go beyond the 48k I use now).  All I can tell you is that, at least in the past, the one Native Instruments audio interface I ever owned, was FABULOUS, at doing its job, without fail, EVER.  

Hopefully, they still build them like that, should you end up getting a newer NI model interface.

I have another friend with a Presonus USB 96, and that too, runs like a champ, without fail.  My 10+ year old Presonus AudioBox 1818 VSL, with its 8 ports, ALSO still runs like a champ, so my guess is that most of the available audio interfaces, in the $120 and up, USD, pricing category, are going to work pretty well, and all of them should have tons of reviews out there, to help narrow the choices.

If you ever get a computer that supports Thunderbolt 3, I can tell you that the interfaces that have a Thunderbolt 3 connection port are BLAZING fast.  I have a UAD Arrow Thunderbolt 3 interface, connected to my laptop, and couldn't be happier.  Presonus now makes a brand new Quantum 2626 Thunderbolt 3 interface, for either $499 or $599 USD (cannot remember which of those 2 prices), that has 8 ports, and a friend bought one of those, a couple months back, and it is AMAZING.  But, you need explicit Thunderbolt 3 support on your motherboard, to use a Thunderbolt 3 audio interface.

My desktop usually has my Yamaha Steinberg UR-22 audio interface, unless I am recording drums, then I connect up the AudioBox 1818 VSL, and its expansion unit, for a total of 16 mic/line inputs.  That too, is a fine audio interface (the UR-22) - nothing fancy, but never fails, and I have it connected and on, 24x7, for months at a time.

Fire Wire is something to stay clear of - I don't believe they make that anymore, though I could be wrong).

Good hunting, 

Bob Bone

 

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Not trying to take away from this thread at all. Unfortunately, for lots of us 'affordability' has to be on the list too. There are some amazing PCIe audio interfaces out there that would get a check mark in every category, but I just don't have the bank to get them. 🥺

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On 8/1/2020 at 11:22 PM, razor7music said:

Not trying to take away from this thread at all. Unfortunately, for lots of us 'affordability' has to be on the list too. There are some amazing PCIe audio interfaces out there that would get a check mark in every category, but I just don't have the bank to get them. 🥺

@razor7music  This would be my exact thought. Where as i would LOVE to spend a good few €100 or €1000+ on an I/F, especially in these pandemic times, I just dont have that kind of cash.

With that in mind I think I moght have the answer after a bit of research. I have settled on one of 2 devices from AUDIENT:

The ID4 ST£119 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audient-18-90008-ID4-Audio-USB-Interface/dp/B0107YJU8Q/

The brand new EVO ST£99 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/EVO-Interface-production-audio-interface-microphone/dp/B084BGC5LR/

Have a listen to this review OF BOTH THESE Devices:

 

I have to say i am conflicted :D .. in a good way. Each day i veer from one to the other for different reasons. The EVO has 2 XLR/Balanced inputs and DI. The ID4 has One XLR/Balanced input and DI. The EVO is plastic, the ID4 is Metal. However the inards and the tech is top notch with Audient bringing circuitry from its high end stuff. The latency is brilliantly low.

So have a look .. thoughts here would be great especially if anyone here has an audient I/F

 

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